After 93 years of love, laughter, hard work and a few tears, Mary Jenkins Molitor passed away peacefully in the early morning of November 15, 2023, at Bear Grass Suites in Boulder, MT, where she had resided since January.
Mary was born on August 2, 1930, to Ivor and Jessie Jenkins in Townsend and spent her early life on the ranch in the Crow Creek area. She attended school in Crow Creek and graduated from Broadwater County High School in Townsend. She was the middle child joining brother Glen and later Ronnie in shenanigans in the valley.
She met Morris Molitor in Townsend, and they married in Missoula on March 26, 1949. Early in their marriage, Morris was working in road construction which set them across the state on many adventures. In 1952 they settled in Boulder and in 1958 they entered the trucking industry from which she later retired. They raised 3 children in Boulder: Kathy, Don and Mike.
Those that knew her found her to be very witty, sharp and certainly gracious even in her advanced age. When working in the business, it was thought that Morris was the boss, but really Mary was. She had no problem speaking her mind, and certainly bantering backing back and forth with people, most often with a little smirk. Her memory was amazing and could have remembered birthdays of employees from forty years back a month ago. Her wit left many people scratching their heads, and one employee challenged her to jump the fountains at Ceasar’s Palace years ago after an incident with a Honda 90. From always having coffee on to ironing sheets for truck driver’s beds she was always there, ready to cook, to laugh and to work. Her kitchen was always open, her office was always open. Whether a driver getting in from a run, a friend stopping by or kids sledding on Cap Hill, she took care of all. Well into her 80’s she drove friends to appointments, most of which were much younger than her.
Mary was very active in the Boulder community for over 70 years. She donated and helped with Red Cross blood drives for 50 years, served as an election judge for Jefferson County for many years. She also volunteered for the JeffCo Food Share in Boulder, volunteered for numerous spay and neuter clinics and served on numerous boards and committees for the good of the community. She enjoyed listening to live music the Jefferson County Far, and attending events in Boulder, but most of all she enjoyed watching Jefferson High School sports. Mary was a regular at JHS basketball, volleyball and football games until a couple years ago and was recognized by the MHSA as a super fan.
She travelled to Alaska, Hawaii, Washington DC, Branson and Arizona over the years plus trips to see family in Washington, Montana and the Dakotas. Her favorite suitcase was a shopping bag!
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Glen and Ronnie, her husband Morris, her daughter Kathy and her sister-in-law Betty.
Surviving her are her son-in-law, Stan (Cheryl) Pelton, her sons Don (Cheryl) Molitor and Mike Molitor (Bridgett Waples). Her grandchildren Garth (Beth) Pelton, Dirk (Rachelle) Pelton, Madison Molitor (Nick Willett), Josie Molitor, Jessie Molitor and Jasmin & Dylan Waples. She also is survived by her 3 great grandchildren Brody, Mallary and Sage Pelton. Additionally, she had a few bonus grandchildren; Chad, Darcie and Griffin Bullock. She was very close to her 3 nieces; Lynda Riis, Sandy Zupanik & Stacy Bullock and their families, who helped tremendously in her final months.
The family would like to thank Lori Lagerquist for over 30 years of caring for Mom and the entire staff at Bear Grass for taking such great care of her since her moving in. We also would like to thank her close friends in Boulder including Dee, Jim, Dave, Pamela, Rick, Cheryl and Greg, along with her “coffee gals” and finally her “dinner gang”.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Jefferson High Athletics or Booster Club, Boulder Ambulance or the donor’s choice.
While we know she wouldn’t want a “fuss” made about her, there will be a Celebration of Life on December 2nd at 11AM at St Catherine’s Parish Center, 405 E. 3rd in Boulder.